Cloncurry, Queensland

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Cloncurry
Queensland
Cloncurrysunset.JPG
Sunset at Chinaman Creek Dam, Cloncurry
Cloncurry is located in Queensland
Cloncurry
Cloncurry
Coordinates 20°42′0″S 140°30′0″E / 20.70000°S 140.50000°E / -20.70000; 140.50000Coordinates: 20°42′0″S 140°30′0″E / 20.70000°S 140.50000°E / -20.70000; 140.50000
Population 2,384 (2006 census)[1]
Postcode(s) 4824
Elevation 186 m (610 ft)[2]
Location
LGA(s) Shire of Cloncurry
State electorate(s) Mount Isa
Federal Division(s) Kennedy
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
33.1 °C
92 °F
18.7 °C
66 °F
584.5 mm
23 in

Cloncurry is a town situated in the north-west of Queensland, Australia, 770 kilometres west of the city of Townsville via the Flinders Highway. The town lies adjacent to the Cloncurry River. It is the administrative centre of the Cloncurry Shire. At the 2006 census, the town had a population of 2,384.[1]

Welcome sign
Post Office Hotel

Cattle grazing is the significant industry in the region, and a large sale yards is located in the town. Cloncurry is known as the Friendly Heart of the Great North West.[3] The population in Cloncurry decreased from 3,898 in 1996 to 2,900 in 2002.[3]

Cloncurry will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2017.[citation needed]

History[edit]

The first Europeans to traverse the area were Burke and Wills on their epic, and ultimately fatal, transcontinental expedition. The Cloncurry River was named by Burke after Lady Elizabeth Cloncurry, his cousin, with the town eventually taking its name from the river.

Ernest Henry discovered copper in the area in 1867,[4] and the town sprang up to service the Great Australia Mine to the south. Roger Sheaffe established the first pastoral run in the Cloncurry district - "Fort Constantine".[5] Gold was discovered at Top Camp.[6] The town was surveyed in 1876.[7] Cloncurry was proclaimed a town in 1884.

Queensland's Northern Line railway reached Cloncurry in December 1907[7] and was officially opened the next year.

In 1914 a fire broke out in the town resulting in the destruction of the Post Office, the hotel, eleven shops, two store-rooms and a cottage. The telegraph office was saved by employees who kept the office damp and protected with wet blankets. One man died in the blaze which cost an estimated £15,000.[8]

The discovery of uranium at Mary Kathleen brought wealth to the community in the 1950s.[7] Until the development of Mount Isa in the 1960s, Cloncurry was the administrative centre of the region.[7]

The first ever flight of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia took place from Cloncurry on 15 May 1928, using a de Havilland DH.50 aircraft hired from the then small airline, Qantas. A Royal Flying Doctor Service museum is situated in the town.

Heritage listings[edit]

Cloncurry has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

Climate[edit]

Cloncurry was widely regarded as holding the record for the highest temperature recorded in Australia at 53.1 °C (127.5 °F) on 16 January 1889. Recent investigations have revealed that this temperature was measured in an improvised screen made from a beer crate and that it equated to 47–49 °C under standard conditions.[14] The highest temperature ever recorded at Cloncurry's current weather station is 46.9 °C (116.4 °F),[15] well short of the 1889 temperature of 53.1 °C. The average annual rainfall is 584.5 mm (23.0 in), almost all of which falls between the months of December to March

Because of the area's extreme solar conditions, Cloncurry was expected to become Australia's first solar-powered town.[16] However the planned 10MW Thermal solar plant was scrapped due to light pollution concerns [17] and a 2.128MW flat panel photovoltaic solar farm was to be built in its place. However, the Queensland Government withdrew financial support for the solar farm in May, 2012.[18]


Climate data for Cloncurry Airport (1978-2013)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 46.3
(115.3)
44.9
(112.8)
41.5
(106.7)
39.9
(103.8)
38.7
(101.7)
34.9
(94.8)
34.8
(94.6)
37.1
(98.8)
41.3
(106.3)
43.5
(110.3)
45.1
(113.2)
46.9
(116.4)
46.9
(116.4)
Average high °C (°F) 36.2
(97.2)
36.0
(96.8)
35.4
(95.7)
33.4
(92.1)
29.2
(84.6)
26.2
(79.2)
26.0
(78.8)
28.8
(83.8)
33.1
(91.6)
36.2
(97.2)
37.6
(99.7)
38.5
(101.3)
33.1
(91.6)
Average low °C (°F) 24.4
(75.9)
24.2
(75.6)
22.4
(72.3)
19.8
(67.6)
15.1
(59.2)
11.2
(52.2)
10.3
(50.5)
12.1
(53.8)
16.5
(61.7)
20.3
(68.5)
23.0
(73.4)
24.7
(76.5)
18.7
(65.7)
Record low °C (°F) 17.3
(63.1)
15.3
(59.5)
14.8
(58.6)
8.9
(48)
4.8
(40.6)
2.0
(35.6)
1.8
(35.2)
3.3
(37.9)
4.2
(39.6)
9.0
(48.2)
12.3
(54.1)
16.7
(62.1)
1.8
(35.2)
Rainfall mm (inches) 188.2
(7.409)
102.7
(4.043)
80.8
(3.181)
20.3
(0.799)
7.7
(0.303)
7.0
(0.276)
2.2
(0.087)
3.3
(0.13)
6.6
(0.26)
21.2
(0.835)
32.8
(1.291)
82.0
(3.228)
554.8
(21.842)
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2mm) 11.9 10.1 5.5 2.5 1.4 1.0 0.9 0.9 2.3 3.0 5.9 7.8 53.2
 % humidity 39 40 30 27 25 27 24 20 19 16 22 27 26
Source: Bureau of Meteorology[19]

Notable residents[edit]

Facilities[edit]

Cloncurry has a public library, gallery, public swimming pool, showground, racecourse, Flying Doctor museum and a mineral display in the old post office.[23]

Transport[edit]

Long distance rail services
Preceding station   Queensland Rail   Following station
toward Townsville
The Inlander
toward Mount Isa

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Cloncurry (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  2. ^ Bureau of Meteorology - Retrieved 27 January 2008
  3. ^ a b Community Research Report - Cloncurry (QLD) Introduction (20 September 2002)
  4. ^ "Welcome to Cloncurry Shire Council". Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  5. ^ Sheaffe, Stephen W. "Roger Sheaffe - a Pioneer". Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "Gold, Mount Isa Cloncurry region". The Alluvial Gold Report Qld. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c d Environmental Protection Agency (Queensland) (2002). Heritage Trails of the Queensland Outback. State of Queensland. pp. 85–86. ISBN 0-7345-1040-3. 
  8. ^ "Big blaze at Cloncurry.". The Queenslander (Brisbane, Queenslnd: National Library of Australia). 27 June 1914. p. 39. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "Mount Elliott Company Metallurgical Plant and Mill (entry 4100)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-07. 
  10. ^ "Cloncurry Court House (entry 15190)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-07. 
  11. ^ "Cloncurry Post Office (entry 15191)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-07. 
  12. ^ "Kuridala Township, Hampden Smelter and Mining Complex (entry 30727)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-07. 
  13. ^ "Mount Elliott Mining Complex (entry 24320)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-07. 
  14. ^ "Queensland to bake on Christmas Day". AM. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 24 December 2003. Retrieved 17 November 2009. 
  15. ^ "Climate statistics for Australian locations - CLONCURRY AIRPORT". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "Town so hot it’s first on the solar block", Sydney Morning Herald (5 November 2007)
  17. ^ "Solar power scheme swapped". The Sydney Morning Herald. 17 November 2010. Retrieved 18 June 2011. 
  18. ^ http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/Id/79341
  19. ^ "CLONCURRY AIRPORT". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  20. ^ Perlez, Jane (18 November 2007). "Aboriginal Lit". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 April 2010. 
  21. ^ Fitzgerald, Ross (24 August 2010). "Bob Katter plays hard in crusade for the bush". The Australian. Retrieved 14 April 2011. 
  22. ^ a b c "Athlete profile for Robert Crowther". International Association of Athletics Federations. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  23. ^ "Cloncurry". Centre for the Government of Queensland. Retrieved 12 December 2011. 

External links[edit]